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The English Boys

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Daniel Richardson and his best friend, Hugh Ashley-Hunt, both rising British actors, are in love with the same woman, the free-spirited Tamsyn Burke. Reluctantly, Daniel steps aside when Tamsyn decides to marry Hugh. Shortly before the wedding, however, she's murdered, and suspicion falls on the family, friends, and associates present.

Motivated by both Hugh's grief and his
Paperback, 329 pages
Published July 8th 2016 by Midnight Ink (first published 2016)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  193 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 Daniel and Hugh have long been friends, both successful actors they are starring in the same movie form the first time. Daniel meets Tamsyn first, they become friend though secretly Daniels wants to be more. Alas, High gets the girl, he and Tamsyn become engaged much to Daniels sorrow. They are to be married at The Abbey, but before Tamsyn can walk down the aisle she is stabbed to death. Who would kill a bride on her wedding day and why?

Daniels and the bride's sister Carey set off to
Ivonne Rovira
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any adult!
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
Wow. Just wow. Julia Thomas’ debut novel unfurls slowly and beautifully and then speeds up faster and faster as one shock after another is revealed. Who would believe that this perfect gem, told partly in flashback, could be a first novel?

Beautiful, bohemian actress Tamsyn Burke is stabbed to death moments before her wedding. For whom is her death worse? Her fiancé Hugh Ashley-Hunt? Or Hugh’s best friend, Daniel Richardson, the one who loved and lost Tamsyn? However, it’s Daniel and not the
Jul 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
If I hadn't known ahead of time that this was Julia Thomas's first novel, I never would have guessed while reading it. It's very well-written, engaging, and really kept me guessing.

The book takes place in London and the main characters are Daniel and Hugh, two best friends who are both in love with the same woman, Tamsyn Burke. Tamsyn has already (seemingly) made her choice, as the book begins at Westminster Abbey on her wedding day to Hugh. But before the wedding can take place, a member of the
Stephanie A.
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: want-to-own
One of those wonderful books where you fall for the characters in a few pages, and never lose that feeling. Daniel/Tamsyn won my heart in their very first conversation, their chemistry just leaping off the page, and although her untimely death is the catalyst for the story, she has plenty more to say and do in a number of flashbacks as we get to watch him fall in love with her.

Daniel Richardson, by the way? Favorite character in an age. I loved his bromance with Hugh, every second of his
First Sentence: The Book of Common Prayer, as any good member of the Church of England knows, if rife with dark and fearsome parts.

Tamsyn Burke is murdered moments before she was meant to walk down the aisle of her wedding. Two men loved her; Hugh Ashley-Hunt, her fiancée, and Daniel Richardson, his best friend. Daniel can’t let it go and end up joining forces with Tamsyn’s sister, Carey, to find the killer. Their investigation reveals long-hidden secrets.

We begin with an interesting
Jon Hartley
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Thomas shows in her debut novel that she knows how to create three-dimensional characters that are full of all kinds of little idiosyncracies that make them feel like real people. Unfortunately, she does not display a similar talent for developing a plot and moving it along at an even pace, and in the mystery genre, that's what must come first.

The first half of the book plods along after getting off to a quick start. In any mystery, the early investigation will largely be fruitless, but good
Melissa Froelich nevener
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book! Just get comfy because you will get to the point that you can't put it down. Great story, great characters! Can't wait to see what's next from Julia Thomas!
Andrea Randall
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Julia Thomas’s debut novel embodies the true definition of literature - a written body of work with artistic and intellectual value. The English Boys is a brilliant story, and Thomas certainly tells it with a clever finesse. And, yes there is an intellect behind the storyline and writing that should not go unrecognized. No, it should be praised!

This murder mystery is set in modern day England with a very intriguing plot - a young British actor in love with his best friend’s bride becomes a
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don't know why, but this reminds me of the Robert Galbraith novels. Maybe in the very Britishness of it. Of course, Julia Thomas lives in Oklahoma and is not British. However, she is a very talented writer, because you believe that this was written by someone from the UK. Excellent writing, a plot that grabs and the right ending. Not necessarily a happy ending, but the right one. If this is her first novel, I really want to read her next one!

PS- I have now gotten my two favorite librarians to
Elysia Fionn
Mar 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I think I got seriously sucked in by the cover art and the title. Was hoping for a little more cloak-and-dagger, a bit more sexy naughtiness... or am I the only person who thinks of sexy naughtiness when I read the words "English Boys"? (I've known too many of them not to... ahem!)

Enjoyed 3/4 of the book, then the ending was... meh. Lately that's been happening to me a lot. Grab a book off the library shelf, love the beginning, left cold by the ending. Hopefully, since this is Ms. Thomas' first
Carol Ann
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
What can I say? I absolutely loved the book. The writing is excellent. My hope is that there will be another title featuring DS Ennis or perhaps some back story for CI Murray. Terrific debut and I look forward to more from Julia Thomas. Much more.
Linda George
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good mystery story with a twist...aren't those the best kind?
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Judith Shadford
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
First work of Julia Thomas, read after Penhale Wood. Two Brit actors, friends since childhood, 15 minutes before Hugh was to marry Tamsyn, yes, at Westminster Cathedral, even though Daniel was really in love with her, and she's murdered! Not a bad first chapter. But Thomas writes more than beach reads. All three have just finished filming Hardy's The Woodlanders, and there is a delicately done amount of Hardy-esque angst and schadenfreude that ensures close reading. As in Penhale Wood, once I ...more
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book--it was a very good mystery. My only complaint is that it switches POV quite a lot, and it doesn't make it clear, as in some books written today, when that happens--as in a chapter heading that says "Daniel" or Murray". Sometimes it was obvious; other times, it just seemed to veer off. And I think that made it a little hard for me, as a reader, to connect fully with the characters. To me, this was a story that should have been told from one POV only--either the ...more
Janka H.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
A girl and two boys - one loves her, one is to marry her. A murder in the cathedral. What is the reason for all of this and who are the English boys?

To be frank - this is not a good book (from the literary point). Certainly not a good mystery and the ending and the logic behind the murder is unbelievable.
Good editor has been very much needed when completing this book.

But there is something "human" and approachable about the novel. I would recommend to the authoress to just write and write
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this contemporary mystery set in London- a tale of unrequited love, friendships, and revenge. Daniel and Hugh are famous actors and friends, cast for the first time together. A seemingly randon meeting brings a third to their circle, Tamsyn, who wants to act as well. Tamsyn winds up dying on her wedding day, and though shattered, Daniel decides to try and find her killer. Mystery, a glimpse into the lives of the uber privileged... and REALLY well drawn out characters.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I needed a mystery to finish my library summer reading, and grabbed this one from the library's shelf. I was pleasantly surprised to find this was by an Oklahoma writer who, I thought, writes about England pretty well. This book made me want an almond croissant really bad--the characters are always going to cafes. The story is fine. But why are contemporary thrillers packed with so much bad language? It really isn't necessary.
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
On the surface, The English Boys is just another murder mystery. A beautiful bride is killed on her wedding day. There are no witnesses so all the guests are suspects. Below the surface, this is a story of love, violence, secrets, and the deep bond of friendship. Beautifully written, there is no pat ending, no easy answer.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
This started out to be a really good book: well written, interesting characters, interesting relationships in friendships and romances. And then. How do I put this? Then it stopped being good.

I don't know why so many good authors feel the need to have their stories be so dark.

Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
A good debut. I pulled it from a library shelf because I like mysteries set in British Isles. Flawed in my opinion by one improbability even more eye-stretching than most mysteries have to have and by a gratuitous murder near the end. I'll watch for the author's next if it has a similar setting
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
Loved the character development in this book. Two famous actors love the same women. As she prepares to marry one of them, she is murdered. The ending was a mess otherwise this book had potential.
Terry NeSmith
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great suspenseful read! Go ahead! Read it!
Sue Martin
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great read

One of those books that you don't see the plot coming at you. My first book by this author but certainly not the last
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Probably more like a 3 1/2. It's a good beach read - fast and engaging - but not much substance to the plot or the characters. The mystery ending was predictable but it was still a fun read.
Carol Whetzel
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good read, especially for a debut work.
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was not sure about this book when I started out, but as I got into it, I thought it was a good mystery.
Angela Berntson
May 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book did not get interesting until near the end. I almost put it down more than once.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
When you don’t have control over your material, you throw in another murder. The premise was interesting, two friends, one girl, a wedding and a dead bride. The unraveling was less than credible.
Michelle Vanhoose
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This was an entertaining read. I think that the twist was good, but then I was able to figure out "whodunit". Still, kept my attention and I will keep it on my bookshelf and recommend it to others.
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Tamsyn's parents (Spoilers) 1 3 Jan 02, 2017 10:11AM  

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Julia Thomas is the author of The English Boys, 2016, a Library Journal Debut of the Month novel, and Penhale Wood, 2017, which earned starred reviews from Kirkus and Library Journal. She is married to Will Thomas who writes the Barker and Llewelyn Victorian mystery series.